In the post “Mite Patrol” we discussed why chickens take dust baths and shared how we manage the mite load in our flock.
But I think we may have come up with something better than Sevin® dust to add to their dust bath area: diatomaceous earth.
Diatomaceous earth is made of minute exoskeletons of diatoms, hense the name. The dust-like silica shells of these creatures is abrasive to many insects, killing the bugs while not harming animals.
Diatomaceous earth is considered generally safe and not a poison, there are package warnings which you should follow. For an in depth article try this link from the National Pesticide Institute.
We added 20 pounds to the area the Big Branch Apiary flock likes to dust in and the hens immediately took advantage of it. You can usually find diatomaceous earth at garden and pet supply stores. Try it out for a pesticide free mite treatment.